By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Here’s a gift you can give yourself for the holidays: quit smoking.  And Philadelphia residents can get a free push in the right direction.

“Secondhand smoke causes 46,000 deaths a year from heart disease in the US,” says a series of voices of city kids in a contest-winning video that drives home the idea that is a matter of life and death for more than just the smoker.

Today, Philadelphia health commissioner Dr. Donald Schwartz announced renewal of a city program to help people kick the habit:

“Just as we did last year, we are able this year to offer free counseling and a free one-month supply of nicotine patches to the first 5,000 individuals who call the Pennsylvania state free quit line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.”

Schwartz says last year’s program was about one-third successful, so the city now has 1,700 fewer smokers as a result.

Callers to the “quit line” get an individualized program for their particular needs.

 

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